MOUNT VERNON - Barb Johnson values her patrons.
After all, their suggestion prompted her to open a bar inside of the Mount Vernon gas station she's owned for 11 years known as Westy's One Stop.
"I had a lot of customers ask me about opening a bar in the area where people eat, and I thought it was a great idea," Johnson said.
On a recent Sunday night, a local dart team filled the freshly painted bar, while sharing plenty of smiles in between aiming for bull's-eyes on the four new dartboards aligned against the east wall at Wild Westy's bar.
The local dart team is one of 16 that gathers at Wild Westy's for dart league, which is something Johnson credits for the success of her bar that opened just over a month ago.
"We have a bunch of dart teams that play here for league, and it has been great seeing the dartboards get used right away," Johnson said.
Saturday night doubles and Sunday night Pink Ladies make up the adult dart leagues the bar hosts, which are co-ed and take place every weekend, although the Pink Ladies league also throws every other Sunday. Providing a fun place for the Mount Vernon area youth is something Johnson values, which led to her creation of a new youth dart league that throws every Sunday.
"A lot of kids want to come watch their parents on dart night, and I wanted to provide a league for them to be a part of, and it's been great seeing the kids have fun," Johnson said.
As Reagan Foote mixes drinks and tops off beers, she looks right at home behind the brand new bar backed with a 65-inch TV and a line of shiny liquor bottles sitting in the corner. In true pioneer spirit, Johnson built the bar on the west wall by herself, rather than seeking a contractor.
"It was hard work, but I built in a month," Johnson said. "The seating area was originally here when I bought the building 11 years ago, so renovating that area wasn't as hard as building the bar."
Although it's hard to recognize the area that was once a sideroom cafe where patrons could lounge and eat, it's now home of the new Wild Westy's bar.
"It's amazing how beautiful this bar is, and Barb basically did it all on her own," Foote said, the bar manager who helped Johnson in the process. "We've been busy ever since we opened our doors, and it's great to see the community enjoy this place."
Johnson credits Foote for the success the bar has experienced, and they've proven to be a strong pair in the eyes of their patrons.
"They're awesome people, and they make us feel right at home," Jason Norgaard said after throwing a round of darts.
Because Westy's One Stop gas station has a kitchen, Johnson capitalizes on using it to serve food at the bar. From cheese balls to jalapeno, the menu primarily consists of finger food, but Johnson is adding items on the go.
"We have a nice little menu of food, and we have been doing some specials as well," Johnson said.
Some of those specials include wing nights, taco bars and happy hour.
Not even a month into being open, Wild Westy's has a Super Bowl party under its belt, along with hosting a local musical guest Weston Frank, who performed for opening night. While Johnson and Foote have been creative in implementing ways to attract customers in their one month of existence, looking to the future, the two are mulling over the possibility of installing an outdoor patio on the south side of the building.
"I think it would be really cool to have an outdoor feature, because there isn't any in town," Foote said.
While Wermers Lounge was the only bar in town prior to Wild Westy's opening, Johnson said she's grateful the Mount Vernon community now has two great options to choose from.
"I'm just happy there are great options to have fun together," Johnson said. "We are excited for what's to come."